Debate Info

Yes, it should be lowered No, it should not be lowered
Debate Score:14
Total Votes:19
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Argument Ratio

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 Yes, it should be lowered (5)
 No, it should not be lowered (5)

Debate Creator

Thames(131) pic

Should the voting age be lowered to 16?

In a recent article ( the Economist magazine issues an argument for 16 yr. olds being included in the franchise. Consider those arguments as you debate this topic. Cite one other source as you debate.

Yes, it should be lowered

Side Score: 6

No, it should not be lowered

Side Score: 8
2 points

I definitely think it should, because if 16 year old individuals can drive, they are responsible enough to vote. The legal voting age is already 18 so lowering it to 16 won't make much of a difference. Also, lowering the voting age would get the teen population more involved in what occurs in politics. Some people may question whether or not 16 year old individuals would take voting seriously or if they would just blow it off, even if they did this issue is present among the adult population anyways.

Side: Yes, it should be lowered
danman95(1) Disputed
1 point

Just because a 16 year old can drive does not mean they should automatically mean they can vote. One has nothing to do with the other. Electing people to government is something of the highest of value and whomever is elected can affect peoples lives. Science has shown that human brains are not fully developed until the age of around 26 years of age. Currently the voting age is 18 and data shows that 18 year olds do a lot of stupid things and now you think someone in high school that literally does things at a whim should get more responsibility?

That seriously makes no sense

Side: No, it should not be lowered

Yes! Young people should have a say in the government, too.

Side: Yes, it should be lowered
1 point

Why not lower the voting age to 12? or 10? Why should kids have to wait until they are 16 and know everything before they can vote?

Side: Yes, it should be lowered

Sure, change it to 16. Okay Conservatives, indoctrinate your children now before the liberal college false priests get ahold of them and teach them that religion is bad unless it is one that makes women wear ninja suits.

Side: Yes, it should be lowered

It should be raised to 40. At that age most have experienced life and have a more realistic view of how the world works.

Side: No, it should not be lowered
Banana438(1) Disputed
0 points

To raise the age to 40 would eliminate the majority of the population from the vote. As well there is only anecdotal evidence to prove this claim of yours.

Side: Yes, it should be lowered
1 point

Never in a million years, mate. Most of the 16 and even 18 year olds I know are bloody wankers who can barely walk and chew gum at the same time. I sure as bloody hell don't want them anywhere near the ballot box. That idea is bollocks. Or are you taking a piss?

Side: No, it should not be lowered

With each decade, our electorate becomes more self centered and votes for what he can get from Government.

Democrat Politicians feed on this me me entitlement mentality. They are the ones who created it. It's all politics.

America used to tell our people that you can be anything you want if you are willing to work hard and live responsibly.

The new age Democrat Party teaches Americans they can be anything they want to be as long as big Government redistributes the working man's paycheck and gives it to them on a platter.

You might notice today that more young people favor democrats because they want others to pay for their College, their healthcare, their housing, etc. etc.

The milleniums have lost the pride of self reliance. They have grown up listening to our politicians pandering to them for their vote.

The Democrat Party has become the party of handouts so as to buy votes on the backs of tax payers.

What I love about Repubicans is that they also care for the working man who make this nation go.

Side: No, it should not be lowered
0 points

The reference article is all over the place, but I'll do my best to respond. I will not be citing any other sources as the question raised can only be answered by opinion and I will be sharing my own (if you want others, go search Google).

I will agree a 16 or 17 year old is typically too immature for such a responsibility. I'd argue the same might be true at 18, but this is the age of majority and denying them the right would be wrong.

Away from their parents, they have no established voters to emulate and little connection to their new communities.

This is a great example as to why 18 is a better age. If - like the article states - you want to signal their opinions matter, they need their own opinion and simply casting their vote based on their parent's opinion is meaningless.

With regards to having a connection to their new community I would think this is highly irrelevant, at least with presidential elections as the results impact us at a national level, not local.

Young people’s disenchantment with the ballot box matters because voting is a habit: those who do not take to it young may never start.

Visiting the polls shouldn't just be out of habit. Any action performed out of habit results in the status quo; "I always vote Republican therefore will continue to." Habits don't require conscious decision which is why voting should never be a "habit".

The young tend to see voting as a choice rather than a duty (or, indeed, a privilege).

Voting should not be seen as a duty but rather a privilege, a choice, and a responsibility. I emphasize responsibility because the cast of a ballot should be an informed decision. If you don't know what the candidates stand for, or you don't understand what you really believe, I would suggest refraining from voting.

Politicians increasingly woo older voters—not only because they are more likely to vote but also because they make up a growing share of the electorate.

How does lowering the age help this? From a numerical standpoint, sure lowering the age will garner more voters, but that still doesn't mean they will vote, or if they do whether that will be an informed vote. It's fair to assume a 16 or 17 year old voter will likely vote the same as their parents; especially if they're only voting because they were told do so; so why not continue to "woo" the older voters?

Many young people see elections stacked against them.

The issue isn't that the elections are stacked against them, the issue is that today's young people don't know how to lose. If anything, this is also a good argument to support the electoral college as it gives every state the ability to impact an election. A pure popular vote would result in a winner being decided by just a couple of states, largely leaving the others with the sense of it being "stacked against them".

Ultimately if it's an issue of young people not going to the polls, we as parents need to do more to teach them the value of this right and this can be done without lowering the voting age.

Turnout of American voters under 25 at presidential elections fell from 50% in 1972 to 38% in 2012; among over-65s it rose from 64% to 70%

These statistics have no correlation to voting age. If the voting age were lower in 1972 than it was in 2012 an argument could be made, but as they were the same - I don't see the point. How I interpret this jumps back to my statement in the previous paragraph that we as parents aren't teaching our children the responsibility of voting.

Side: No, it should not be lowered